Factors influencing effective use of automated teller machines by Bank customers in Voi
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Since the banks introduced the automated teller machines to help in the service delivery as cash dispensers as in the case of Standard Chartered bank in Kenya in 1989 (Ndegwa, 2003), the growth in the use of this facility by other banks has been tremendous. This facility has also been developed from just being a cash dispenser but also capable of offering other services namely balance inquiry, printing mini-statements among other services. As Onyango (2003) suggests, after successful ATM adoption their services should be moved to a higher level for increased customer satisfaction. The continued investment in automated teller machines has made the need to establish the factors influencing their effectiveness more urgent. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors influencing effective use of ATMs in Voi. The choice of Vol was necessitated by the fact that it's not only a major transit town but also a town within a rural setting. This gives it unique characteristics of the customers who use the banking services particularly ATM usage. The town has branches of the two leading banks in the country, Barclays and Kenya Commercial Bank from whose customers this research is based on. The study was to establish the factors that influence ATM usage in Voi. The study was to establish hindrances to machine usage. For example, age, poor training, lack of awareness of ATM technology, machine down times and card retention. It is generally assumed that most customers use ATMs for cash withdrawal only. This study was to establish whether this is true in Voi and the factors behind it. The study also sought to establish the extent to which the other services offered by this facility are being used. The study design was descriptive in nature describing the ATM usage level and the effectiveness in service delivery. The questionnaire was the main instrument for data collection. Simple random sampling was used in the research. A sample of 100 customers was drawn from Barclays and KCB. 60 customers from KCB and 40 from Barclays was interviewed. The questionnaires were self-administered. They were filled and collected during the interview. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics with the help of SPSS program. The research identified the following as factors that influence the effective use of ATMs in Voi. Machine downtimes, number of machines, security, card retention, education and training, age and the withdrawal limit. It was also found out that few people use other services other than cash withdrawal. Most of the people learn how to use the ATMs either through self or friends and the information is quite inadequate. The researcher recommends that machines should be maintained throughout. The number of machines should also be increased. Proper lighting and additional security be provided to increase the use of the ATM machines. Card retention should also be minimized if not eliminated all together and the retrieval time reduced. Linking up of ATM facilities with other institutions should be encouraged to increase customer access to their deposits and the interconnection costs between different banks be lowered. Customer education and training should also be enhanced. The level of awareness of other services other than cash withdrawal be increased by vigorous advertisements through media, training by bank staff and provision of pamphlets and user guides. It is further recommended that other services such as payment of utility bills, transfer of funds and cheque deposits be installed in the two banks. It is hoped that this data will be beneficial to both the banks and the customers.